Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI

Date:
December 10, 2013
Source:
Saint Louis University Medical Center
Summary:
A recent study used diffusion tensor imaging, a type of highly sensitive magnetic resonance image (MRI), to examine the way water moves throughout the brain’s white matter.

In preliminary findings, Saint Louis University researchers report that veterans who suffered blast injuries have changes in brain tissue that are still apparent in images years after the blast. The data, presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, represents a small but intriguing look at brain imaging in those who suffered combat-related head injuries.

The findings are some of the first to come from a U.S. Department of Defense-funded brain imaging grant to Saint Louis University to learn more about the nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in veterans and civilians. The imaging project, led by Richard Bucholz, M.D., professor and vice chairman in the department of neurosurgery at SLU, began recruiting participants in 2009 and is concluding this year.

This study looked at data from diffusion tensor imaging, a type of highly sensitive magnetic resonance image (MRI), used to examine the way water moves throughout the brain's white matter.

SLU researcher Tom Malone compares the way water moves along nerve fibers through the brain to a garden hose.

"Imagine that water moving through a healthy brain is like a functional garden hose, all moving in the same direction with no leaks," said Malone. "Then, imagine a hose with many small holes in it, leaking water along the way. That's analogous to what we're seeing in the DTI scans of brains of those with blast injuries."

In civilians who suffered mild traumatic brain injury, like a concussion, cognitive issues typically resolved within one to three months. Military patients, however, often reported more persistent issues.

"Our military participants were still reporting problems," said P. Tyler Roskos, a neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the department of neurosurgery at SLU. "They look normal on a battery of cognitive tests. But when they went through our imaging tests we saw differences in their scans."

It is possible that previous scans were not sensitive enough to pick up these changes to the brain. Or, it may be the case that some veterans have more complicated health issues, Roskos says.

"Sometimes combat veterans are dealing with multiple challenges, like depression or alcohol or drug use. It can be hard to tell what's causing what."

"The difficult thing with this group is that many times service members don't receive evaluation until they are back stateside," said Roskos. "We know that if you do a CT or standard MRI scan, you probably won't see anything abnormal. And yet, injured service members are frequently reporting problems with memory, functioning or daily life. And, until now, we've had limited data to try to understand what's going on.

"The diffusor tensor imaging has the potential to help us understand why injured members of the military are reporting these issues. It also may help service members feel justified that the 'invisible injuries' they experience are real."

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University Medical Center. "Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210163529.htm>.
Saint Louis University Medical Center. (2013, December 10). Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210163529.htm
Saint Louis University Medical Center. "Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210163529.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins